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Perseid Meteor Shower from Tiger Mountain

Nathan's PhotoEvery year the Perseid meteor shower brightens the summer sky. At the suggestion of a reader, we decided to do a midweek night hike and enjoy the show. Wanting a familiar trail for this adventure, we returned to tiger mountain cable line hikingwithmybrotherour old training grounds, the Tiger Mountain Cable Line. Just as the sun was setting, we dug out our headlamps and headed back out to Exit 20.

“Perseids” as the meteors are known, are so named because they seem to originate from the constellation Perseus. The meteors are the remnants of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which crosses the Earth’s orbit every 130 years on its way around the Sun. As the Earth travels through the comet’s dust and debris field, meteorites hit the atmosphere and streak across the night sky.

The Cable Line is still the same, and we found no reason to revise our previous review of the trail. In retrospect, hiking up the steep, slippery trail in the middle of a hot summer night was not ideal. Instead, we probably should have taken the longer and better-maintained West Tiger #3 trail to the top. As it turned out, we spent more time than expected navigating portions of the trail made more challenging by the lack of light. On the upside, it was impossible to see how much more uphill remained ahead of us, which might have helped us tackle the elevation a bit easier.

tiger mountain cable line perseid hikingwithmybrotherOnce at the summit, we settled down to try to capture an elusive Perseid. We knew we were not nearly far enough away from the city to fully escape the light pollution, but in the shadow of the mountain we were able to see more than a few Perseids streak across the sky. Surprisingly, in contrast to the dozens of cars at the bottom, only one other hiker was there to share in the show.

Although night hiking can be a little tricky, and is definitely more difficult than hiking during the day, it was fun to hike up and see the meteors. If ever you’re tired of your favorite trail, break out the headlamp and try a night hike; you’ll see it in a whole new way. - Nathan

Tiger Mountain Cableline


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